we've got signatures, help us get to 1,000 by April 11, 2014
Update 4/25/13 - Petioner has received copies of the court filings in the Laura Huth/Don Gerard case. The 77 page document includes affadivits and evidence supporting her case. Do note that a final decision has not been rendered in either case.
The above link will take you to the court filing. Additionally, Petitioner received copies of the police reports, the call to dispatch, and internal emails from the City of Champaign. In the police report filed regarding James Bean and Donald Gerard, it was the police officer who recommended that James Bean file a no-contact order. The next court date for that case will be on April 30, 2013
Mayor Don Gerard has had two restraining orders filed against him in the last year. Details are provided in the background information. According to news reports the mayor has been accused of threatening to use city prosecution against a former girfriend, and he recently engaged in a public altercation with the second person who filed an order. Municipal resources ideally ought to be utilized for the betterment of the community, and not be used as tools to bully or harass private citizens.
My purpose in starting this petition was to note a pattern of behavior that I have described below. When the first court case was filed, I felt that it would be prudent to see how the court system resolved this matter. With the second case, this raises some serious red flags. As a constituent, I would like to be able to criticize my elected officials without fear of abuse or retaliation. I find the behavior of the mayor to be scary and I find myself reluctant to address any issues of concern with him. Plus, this calls into question how would Mayor Gerard be willing to handle himself in the event of a city wide crisis situation.
As of 4/12/13 the current status of both Orders of Protection have future court dates scheduled. WCIA reported that the first court case that was filed has the attorneys for both parties working on a settlement. The more recent case is scheduled for a hearing on April 30th. As it's been pointed out to the creator of the petition a court filing is not the same as a conviction or specific court order.
In the last year Champaign Mayor Don Gerard has had two orders of protection filed against him in the Champaign County Circuit Court. The first 'no contact' order was filed by a former girlfriend who has accused the mayor of threatening her with city prosecution. The second order was filed by local musician James Bean, who told local reporters that Gerard interupted a performance of his, and verbally abused him.
This suggests that the mayor has issues with dealing with conflict in an appropriate manner, and that he could potentially be willing to retaliate against any constituent who disagrees with him. In a recent article published by the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette, Gerard called the local musician a 'sociopath' and accused him of harassing his daughter. Yet, there is no indication in any of the news reports that Gerard has any supporting documentation regarding the allegations that Mr. Beans social media activites are being investigated.
Since then, the mayor has accused James Bean of harassing him individually, and his family. Yet, once again, there has been no supporting documentation in regards to the mayors allegations. Instead it appears that local news media is simply reporting the slanderous remarks made by the mayor, without investigating further.
If Mayor Gerard can't provide proof of his accusations against Mr. Bean, then the creator of his petition can only surmise that he is lying. The creator of this petition is concerned that the Mayor is retaliating against Mr. Bean due to criticism over how he has conducted himself while in office. In the last year, Mr. Bean has criticised Mayor Gerard over his interactions with Champaign County Health Care Consumers, which is an organization that he has done volunteer work for. Constituents have the right to be critical of their public officials, and to live without fear of retaliation or abuse.